The Forever Tree
“The Forever Tree” is written by Asmaa Hussein of Ruqaya's Bookshelf and published by Compass Books. ⠀ It is a bilingual book, so that right away piqued my interest! The idea behind the book is to describe the forever tree of Jannah, and the last page contains Ahadith and descriptions about the tree.⠀ ⠀ Zainab is a little girl that heads to school while there is a huge amount of snow outdoors. During class, yearning for warmer weather, each one of her classmates describes the tree that they love the most. Zainab mentions the forever tree and says it is the biggest tree ever, with the best fruits ever, with leaves like elephant ears, and shade the span of which a horse needs 100 years to cross. Her classmates ask where this tree is, and she says that it is in Jannah, and every good word of dhikr in this dunya will help plant us our own forever trees in Paradise. At the end of the book, Zainab doesn’t even mind the snow outside anymore, because the thought of the tree makes her happy.⠀ ⠀ The book being in both Arabic and English, I did feel like it was too long of a story for my kids to sit through.⠀ ⠀ The English part was understood by my 7 year old, and he smiled at how all the children described their favorite trees. I liked that the book helped teach him more about nature and all about the different trees there are in the world.⠀ ⠀ I liked how the Arabic part had ashkal to help with reading, but I did feel like it was a little advanced of a vocabulary for my kids and too small of a font. I felt like it could have been a little more simplified and easier to read, with bigger letters. ⠀ ⠀ Also, the pictures were a little plain, and I would have preferred more vibrant colors that grabbed the children’s attention.⠀ ⠀ That being said, the story really does have a beautiful message, and I enjoyed teaching my kids about The Forever Tree of Jannah. I also liked the reminder to kids to always remember Allah and plant their own trees in Jannah through common phrases of dhikr.⠀ ⠀ Get your copy from the website of Ruqaya’s Bookshelf for 9.99
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